The Note: Which Trump will show up at the UN this week?

THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein

The pieces are in place for a Trumpian splash at the United Nations. A president who likes being the center of attention gets the world spotlight this week, amid a range of challenges where U.S. leadership is the center of the action. President Trump faces dual challenges that will highlight the varied directions in which you often see him pulling himself. He and his team are mindful of this being a U.N. debut, and want progress and a degree of unity in combating ISIS, confronting North Korea and reaching decision points on Iran. But he’ll be balancing that with the view from his base. That’s where you’ll see the side of Trump that declared the U.N. to be “not a friend,” and who spent part of his weekend tweeting about “Rocket Man,” and sharing a mock gif of his hitting a golf ball into Hillary Clinton’s back. It’s easy enough to say the president isn’t out to make friends. But he’s learned on the job that national-security crises require partnerships, if not friendships. Remember that Trump likes being liked. And he’s riding just enough domestic momentum, perhaps, to present himself in a slightly more cooperative light.


When President Trump insults Hillary Clinton – not her policy prescriptions or her political ideas, but her as a human being – he insults those Americans who voted for her, too. When he ridicules her, when he tweet-mocks, as he did over the weekend, he is ridiculing people who thought she wasn’t half bad, and maybe ever preferable to him. He perpetuates the idea that there are some Americans he likes and some he does not. The risk of being perceived like that is one of the reasons past presidents chose to stop criticizing their opponents as soon as their campaigns were over. They wanted to send a message that they represented all citizens, and respected all Americans, even those who did not vote for them. Trump may be wining and dining a few congressional Democrats. But it’s worth remembering that he still regularly and actively alienates swaths of the country. He has yet to try to court those who voted against him in any meaningful way, or even show them he wants to work for their values and perspectives, ABC News’ MaryAlice Parks writes.


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